Just past where street winds into ribbon,
lost in time and hills of the canyon,
you'll see what she discovered as she searched for retreat.
A lofty place just above the rush of the city,
close enough to wait,
far enough out of reach to find solitude.
Once again she would feather a sanctuary,
try to make some sense of this chaos,
pillow each room with love unconditioned,
spice the air with pot pourri of combustible rage.
And she knew he would come,
to try to capture life on white pieces of paper,
to try to find home like the one
envisioned in sweet childhood dreams.
It was a great journey from his stage.
On the crest of disciples he would linger backstage,
take a sidestreet to a celebration of spirits,
spend hours seeking insights, offering direction,
laughing, ridiculing, perfecting shock.
If neon brightened his path,
he would wander into Barney's for breakfast,
see to it a lost soul in close step behind had nourishment.
And if the world had lost its pull,
if his legions had left him to certain death,
if the darkness lost its spotlight,
he would escape to her sanctuary.
Light always danced on Love Street.
Sometimes sun fell sharp with reality piercing.
Sometimes rays touched mystical cords of soul.
Sometimes soft embers leaped into life threatening flame,
blinding freedom rides over the edge of an imagined cliff,
frightening moments when nightmares walked the floor.
In destruction's wake, came the early morning hours.
In the transient quiet of first light,
the words would come in a golden rush of phrases.
Midway through the pages, he'd create sense from twisted chaos,
passages of hard earned wisdom.
In a moment he would reach out,
shake her gently from innocent sleep,
search for a truth in her eyes
as she alone witnessed written thoughts a cappella.
Through filtered curtain light she would study his face,
this was the time she lived for,
the man she would die for,
the love she knew he was capable of.
From her window he would watch them pass,
try to imagine how they spent the hours.
For a few gentle moments he thought he could live it.
Wished for the chance to prove worthy,
the page to turn.
Just as his world fell within grasp,
fear oozed through a cracked window,
poured from the sound of rain on the roof,
heightened with each inch of the wall's advance.
Into the game he would climb,
kneeling to pick at the smallest scrap of disorder,
teasing and taunting until he'd catch familiar eyes on fire.
With pointed words and crashing porcelain
she paved the path to his freedom.
Polite gestures of excuse for the lure of open space.
And in the quiet sun of the afternoon,
she would memorize each sound of morning poetry,
the tender look of openness in his eyes,
his protective arm around her shoulder.
And in the bittersweet evening,
she would kneel to pick up the pieces,
pick fresh herbs from the garden,
and try to find ways to fill the hours
until she found chance to start life over again ...
Photograph copyrighted and watermarked by Edmund Teske
Poetry ©1993 Jan Eloise Morris